Filler for Thought..

Do you ever find yourself looking in the mirror feeling like you look tired and physically pulling your skin back to make the wrinkles go away, or simply just wondering what happened to your face overnight?

WELL LET ME TELL YOU: Those deep nasolabial folds (smile lines) around the mouth and jowls have just caught up with you..It’s something we also refer to or is known as the “natural aging process.” With this process come multiple anatomical changes in the face such as: shrinking fat pads that cause volume loss in the mid-face and temples, re-absorption and shifting of bone and lastly, collagen breakdown in our skin which in the end all lead to those pesky depressed dark shadows, wrinkles, skin laxity and fullness in the lower face. 
 SO HERE IS THE TRUTH:  It’s not just about filling in this line or that line anymore, it is actually much much more!  More importantly, we recommended starting with volumizing the mid- face and cheek area first and here at Skin Speaks, we have just the right product for you!  Introducing the NEW and only FDA approved hyaluronic acid filler JUVEDERM VOLUMA XC is perfect for instantly adding volume back into the mid-face and cheeks which will also provide lift and beautiful contour lasting up to 2 years. 
 After volumizing the mid-face this will allow us to assess the amount of correction in the smile and marionette lines and then if appropriate we follow up with another hyaluronic acid filler, such as JuveDerm Ultra Plus XC for these “lines”. 
AND DON’T FORGET:  There are other great skin rejuvenation therapies available to diminish pigmented sun damage, fine lines, skin laxity and irregular textures of the skin that would be a beautiful compliment before or after your dermal filler!
Schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more about what changes are occurring in your face.  
Click here: to learn how JuveDerm Voluma XC may be right for you!  

Products versus Treatments… When Should I Do What?

As cosmetic skincare providers at Skin Speaks, a common misconception we hear is the thought that there are magical creams that can remove deep wrinkles and clear uneven pigmentation like Abracadabra!

The truth of the matter is that although products do account for the majority of our skin’s appearance, once a deep wrinkle or brown spot has formed, products are no longer the best option.

We like thinking of it like a dentist. A dentist recommends a toothbrush and toothpaste to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and gum-disease; however, once a cavity is formed a toothbrush and toothpaste will have little effect; it would be a much better option to fix your cavity using the appropriate “treatment”.

Skin care is the same; we recommend using particular products which prevent the breakdown of collagen, the development of brown spots, wrinkles and skin cancer.  However once a spot or wrinkle has formed, products will have minimal effect.  It would be much more advantageous to pursue the appropriate “treatment”.

So what about the creams that promise to turn back the clock a decade and miraculously solve all life’s problems? Consumer, beware!  We are regularly amused by some of the marketing on TV and product labels promising that in just 30 days you will (insert fantastic sounding result here)!!!  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Now don’t read this and toss your night cream in the trash! The preventive powers of products are almost always underestimated. Think of the difference in someone who has used their toothbrush and toothpaste their whole life and someone that hasn’t; the difference is insurmountable.  We see the same difference in our clients. The ones who have used the appropriate product regimen and those who have done little to nothing….you wouldn’t skip even one night if you could see what we see!  It’s all about learning when to do what.

It’s normal for us to see someone trying to get rid of unwanted brown spots and wrinkles after years of product neglect.  Ironically, they are looking to the magical cream to be the solution. The reality is your toothbrush and toothpaste is not the right option to treat your cavities. So what’s the good news?  We have all the right treatments; lasers, chemical peels, injectables and more for those unwanted “cavities”.  

Way to go if you are using the 4 keystones of skincare products, and if you’re not….we would love to educate you for FREE and help you get started with what is right for you!
When it comes to preventing aging skin we should all be using these 4 things:

  1. SPF
  2. Retinoid
  3. Alpha Hydroxy Acid
  4. Antioxidant

Schedule your FREE consult today to learn how to use these products and prevent those “cavities”!

-Written by Skin Speaks Spa Staff

The Importance of Sunscreen

We think by now it is an understatement that snow weary Midwesterners are ready for a little fun in the sun!  At Skin Speaks: Advancements in Dermatology we want to educate and protect you against the most preventable risk factor of getting skin cancer, a sunburn.  While we want everyone to get the most enjoyment out of our beautiful Minnesota summer weather, a little care and planning will go a long way in preventing burns, premature aging and skin cancer. 

First let’s dispel a few myths:

 1)    You don’t need sunscreen

            Sunscreen prevents harmful UV rays.  If you are going to be outside for longer than 20 minutes certain lighter skin types will start to burn.  If you normally tan and feel that sunscreen is not necessary that is also false.  A tan is another type of visible injury to the skin as well.  There is also the myth that you should tan in a tanning bed before a vacation in a warm weather climate; however, these types of tanning are provided by high intensity UVA rays.  This will darken the skin quickly but not offer protection from UVB rays. People of all skin types, including skin of color, require sunscreen as everyone is at risk to develop skin cancer.  One famous example is Bob Marley who died at age 36 of an aggressive melanoma.

            There are many types of sunscreens on the market. Keep trying different brands until you find a great fit for you.  At Skin Speaks we recommend Neutrogena Ultra Dry Touch and CeraVe sunscreen which is a chemical free, transparent, physical blocker.  Our clinics and spa also offer cosmetically elegant sunscreen options for the face that can be worn under make up, as well as Intellishade tinted sunscreen which is a staff favorite.

 2) The higher the SPF the less I need to reapply

            As a general rule sunscreen products need to be reapplied every 2 hours or if you are getting out of the water.  This holds true even if the product states it is water or sweat proof.

 3)  I can use my sunscreen from last year

            Not true!  If you are using your sunscreen the way it is intended you should not be carrying it over from year to year.  Chemically the sunscreen will break down over time and the bottles should have an expiration date, so be sure to take note of this.  Also, do not store your sunscreen in a heated car or other warm environment. 

 4)  Sunscreen isn’t safe

            The American Academy of Dermatology and the Skin Cancer Foundation both say sunscreen is safe and effective. There are claims suggesting otherwise and are based on questionable science, the Skin Cancer Foundation says. Researchers who studied more than 1,600 adults over 10 years found that those who applied sunscreen each day reduced their risk of melanoma significantly.

 5)  I don’t need to apply sunscreen on cloudy days

            Not true!  UV rays are able to penetrate through the clouds which can cause an unexpected burn and UV damage to the skin.  Also, be aware of the environment that you are in outdoors as snow, water and sand also have reflective properties and intensify the UV rays’ effect.  If you are driving in your car you should be applying sunscreen as the damaging UV rays will penetrate through the window.  During skin exams we are able to see notable signs of sun exposure, aging and skin cancers on the left side of the face. 


While this list is not exhaustive, providing you with a few more helpful hints will go a long way in your skin’s overall health and well being: 

             ~The proper amount of sunscreen to apply is about 1 ounce or the size of a shot glass

            ~Don’t forget the commonly missed sites like you ears and scalp!

            ~If you are outdoors and your shadow is shorter than you-seek shade

            ~You will get adequate amounts of sun for your vitamin D with incidental sun exposure

            ~The recommended SPF is between 30-50.  No matter the SPF you still need to reapply

            ~People who use indoor tanning beds increase their risk of acquiring melanoma by 75%

            ~Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection

 When discussing sunscreen and sun safety with our patients, we also recommend they watch a short video on YouTube called “Dear Sixteen-Year-Old Me.”  It will hopefully help you understand the impact of skin cancer and encourage consistent use of sunscreen and sun protective measures for you and your loved ones.


BOTOX® Cosmetic or Fabulous Fillers?

What is the Difference Between
BOTOX® Cosmetic and Fabulous Fillers?

Every day, we are bombarded by ads tempting us to try something new to fight the signs of aging: Want to look younger? Take 10 years off with our at home like-a-laser treatment! Turn back the clock and boost collagen with our new dream come true foundation, only $7.99!

Tempting us with images and empty promises, these advertisements often raise hope, only for hope to fade into disappointment.  

Why is it that aging tends to start with little changes (gradual changes, changes that we feel comfortable with), and then one day we wake up and wonder, “Where in the world did that line come from? Did it happen overnight?”

Aging is so much more than skin deep; changes in appearance, and perhaps the way we feel about our appearance, may come hand in hand with hard-earned wisdom. With the passage of time, not only are there changes in the structure, elasticity, and look of the skin, but there are also changes related to repetition of facial movements (SEE PREVIOUS BOTOX® COSMETIC BLOG) and facial volume loss. Think of a pillow case: When a pillow is pulled from its case, the case loses its shape.  When facial volume is lost, the canvas of our face (our skin) loses its support. Volume is lost not only from facial fat compartments and subtle muscular changes, but also from changes in the skeletal structure of the face and changes in our skin’s ability to retain water. In addition to volume loss, the lovely downward pull from gravity also plays a role in visible anatomy changes. In a nut shell, repetition of muscle movement, along with the combination of gradual changes due to volume loss and gravity are responsible for slowly and quietly creating “the line that showed up overnight.”  

The majority of us want the same thing, and it is simple: To be able to look and feel our best and also look age appropriate but NOT “over-done.” While there is no such thing as a miracle cream, fortunately, there are many options when it comes to stepping into spring (YES, SPRING!) with your best face forward.

Due to high rates of satisfaction and little to no down time, aesthetic injectable treatments have been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years. Of the many injectables on the market, BOTOX® Cosmetic has been a leading workhorse of available products. Because of its widespread use and longevity on the market, BOTOX® Cosmetic is well known and is frequently thought of as a “cure all” when it comes to injectable procedures. As wonderful as BOTOX® Cosmetic is, it is not the treatment for every facial wrinkle or fold. There are numerous injectable products available on the market, but for now, let’s focus on the difference between BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal fillers (although we highly recommend you also visit our Scuptra® Aesthetic Blog!):

What does BOTOX® Cosmetic do?

BOTOX® Cosmetic is used either to treat lines that occur due to repetition of muscle movement or to relax muscle movement in targeted areas to promote change. FDA approved to improve the appearance of expression lines between the brows, it is used off-label to soften expression lines around the eyes and forehead. It can also be used to promote lifting of the corners of the mouth or eye brows, soften “bunny lines” on the nose, lessen the appearance of a squared jaw, plus treat multiple areas of the lower face and even the neck. While BOTOX® Cosmetic has many uses, it does not help with volume loss.

What is filler, and how does it treat volume loss?

Here’s a quick overview on skin anatomy: The outermost layer of our skin is called the epidermis. Essentially, the epidermis acts as a protector. The dermis (the layer of skin located below the epidermis) provides support. The majority of wrinkles and folds take place within the dermis. HA (hyaluronic acid) is a naturally occurring substance within the skin that binds and absorbs water (think of HA as a friend- it creates facial volume by attracting water). As we age, HA slowly diminishes. When the amount of HA in the skin lessens, the skin loses some of its ability to retain water (water=volume) which contributes to the formation of wrinkles and folds. 

HA Dermal Fillers are sugar-based substances that are FDA approved to treat wrinkles/folds (sometimes referred to as parentheses and marionette lines) around the mouth and nose. Unlike BOTOX® Cosmetic which treats expression lines by quieting muscle movement, HA dermal fillers (JUVEDERM® XC, Restylane®, and Perlane®) provide correction of lines by actually filling areas where volume loss has occurred.  HA fillers are very versatile; because of their incredible ability to attract water (promote facial volume) to precise locations, in addition to treating expression lines or folds around the mouth and nose (and other areas of the face, as well), they are also used to enhance lips, enhance cheeks, and multiple other areas of the face.

Want to learn more?  Call (763)231-8700 to set up a complimentary consultation with one of our highly trained cosmetic injection specialists. We look forward to meeting you!

The FOUR Fundamentals of Skincare

The FOUR Fundamentals of Skincare

Did you know that your at home skincare regimen can account for the majority of your skin’s overall appearance? It is our goal to educate you so you are not missing out on these most important steps. We want you to know not only what the most important products are, but why they are so important. It is when you understand what your products are doing that you can be more diligent about using them. You will not reap the full potential of your products until they are used correctly and consistently.

1)    SPF-Sunscreen is the first, most important step in a skincare regimen. The daily application of sunscreen can do more for our skin than any other product. Sunscreen can prevent against skin cancer, uneven pigmentation, wrinkles, and the breakdown of collagen.

What to look for in a sunscreen: Full spectrum SPF will be most important in the protection of both UVA and UVB rays. It is sometimes common to see irritation with sunscreens, so a physical block SPF, containing ingredients such as zinc oxide, may be more suitable for sensitive skin.

 2)    Topical Retinoid- Why do we love topical retinoids, let us count the ways…

  • Retinoids smooth skin texture through cellular exfoliation
  • Consistent use of topical retinoids will reduce fine lines and wrinkles by signaling the skin cells to produce collagen
  • Retinoids will reduce brown spots by regulating the melanocytes (brown pigmented skin cells), which creates a more even, pigmented skin tone
  • Retinoids will assist in balancing oil production by regulating your oil glands. Whether you feel your skin is too dry or too oily, retinoids to the resuce!
  • Who isn’t looking for a more youthful glow?  Retinoids reduce the dull outer layer of dead skin cells (stratum corneum, which thickens with age) and plumps the healthy living layer of skin
  • Retinoids reduce the risk of skin caner by fighting free radicals that can create skin deformities in the skin cells

 3)    Alpha Hydroxy Acid-  AHAs work to dissolve intercellular cement. This is the junk that builds up between your skin cells that prevent products from penetrating. To reap the benefit of your products, the important ingredients must be able to get to the basal later. However, if the skin has too much cellular cement, the products simply cannot get there. AHAs are also natural humectants, binding water to the skin and keeping it hydrated and supple.

 4)    Antioxidant- Antioxidants are effective in reduction of brown spots, wrinkles, breakdown of collagen and the fight against free radicals. Free radicals are always present in your skin. They are unstable molecules that steal electrons from your skin cells. The result is a brown spot, wrinkle, breakdown of collagen, and the formation of skin cancer. Antioxidants will donate electrons to the free radical, making it stable, preventing harm to your skin. Vitamin C is the most common antioxidant in skincare. Vitamin C is a necessary nutrient for the skin to create collagen. Pair this with a retinoid and you have created a powerful skincare regimen!

Facial Volume Loss-Interested in a natural more youthful looking you

Here at Skin Speaks: Advancements in Dermatology, we commonly see clients
motivated by their aging appearance. In trying to correct these aging changes, women
often focus on brown spots and wrinkles, however many miss one of the biggest
contributing factors to why they are noticing the aged appearance.  We are talking
the loss of facial volume and the overall bony structure of our face which changes over
the years. Cheekbones dwindle, eyes look more sunken, folds become deeper and skin
laxity becomes more prominent in the lower face/jowls.

Sculptra Aesthetic is a revolutionary treatment that works within the deep dermis by
stimulating collagen. The reinforced collagen structure provides a foundation that
gradually builds volume; diminishes facial wrinkles, lifts skin and provides contour to the

The FDA approved facial injectable Sculptra® Aesthetic is composed of Poly-L Lactic
Acid (PLLA); a biocompatible, biodegradable synthetic powder made of micronized –
dissolvable sutures. This gives it the unique capability to stimulate your body’s own
collagen and gradually restore the youthful fullness and contour you once had; with
lasting results that can last up to 2 years.

Learn how Sculptra Aesthetic is different in the way it works and listen to what one
patient has to say about it.

Adult Acne

ACNE: Does it ever end?
There is a common misconception that people outgrow their acne once they cross the magical threshold into adulthood. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, adult acne is a common problem for females between the ages of 20 and 40 (even beyond) — one in five women in this age group suffers from adult acne. Men also experience acne breakouts well beyond the teenage years. So why do you have adult acne? Well, the answer isn’t cut and dry. There are many factors that contribute to it, but thankfully there are just as many ways to treat it.

What causes Adult Acne?
One of the several causes of acne is sebum, which is an oily substance produced by the skin’s sebaceous (oil) glands. Sebum clogs pores by attracting bacteria and forming a pimple. Another cause for acne could be changes in/or imbalances of hormone levels—more specifically, an overproduction of androgens (male hormones). Hormones cause the sebaceous glands to over produce oil, which leads to breakouts. For women, such changes in hormones can occur from use of oral contraceptive pills with androgen in them or during pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause. Other factors that can contribute to the development of adult acne, include stress, certain medications, and cosmetics. Stress causes oil glands to over produce. People who take steroids, mood stabilizers, anxiety, seizure, and thyroid meds are also more prone to developing acne. Cosmetics containing oil can lead to clogged pores. It’s important to choose the right makeup for your skin type, as well as to have good “cosmetic hygiene.”

Can it be treated?
Treating adult acne is easier than you think. The most important factor is to determine its cause. This is where a Dermatology Provider excels. We know skin. We know the different “stages” skin goes through, depending on your age. Most teenagers have a more oily skin type. However, adults more commonly have a drier skin type. So treatments need to be sensitive to your skin type. As Dr. Carney says, “No two patients are alike.”

An effective treatment plan requires a trial-and-error approach, and it needs to be catered to your specific skin needs. Once the right plan is developed and adopted, you are on your way to clear skin. However, even with the right treatment plan, treating acne takes time. This can be incredibly frustrating because you want your skin to be clear…yesterday. However, skin has a “cycle” and it can take 8-12 weeks to see results. So be patient, stick with your anti-acne skin care plan, and expect to see results.

So the acne is gone now, but what is this dark spot?
When severe acne is not treated appropriately it can leave behind permanent scars. Even after acne clears, areas of discoloration are often left behind. These marks can be pink, red, purple, brown, or black, depending on your skin tone. Discoloration occurs because there has been injury to the skin from an inflammatory acne lesion and it needs to heal, much like a wound. This is called Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation or “PIH” and the more inflamed a breakout, the larger and darker the PIH area tends to be. Picking or popping a pimple increases the chance of developing PIH and even puts one at a higher risk for permanent scarring—DON’T PICK. PIH is very common among acne sufferers and occurs in all skin types, affecting both men and women equally. Fortunately, PIH is not true scarring.

How do I get rid of PIH?
Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation will fade over time, even without treatment. The key word here is time. Hyperpigmentation can take months to fully resolve. The time it takes for PIH to fade depends on the darkness of the discoloration compared to your skin tone. There are treatment options available to help fade PIH, however, acne should be under control, before beginning treatment. We strongly recommended the use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily as the sun may darken PIH and increase the time it takes to fade.

Discover Botox® Cosmetic

The secret’s out! It’s not re-touching… It’s BOTOX® Cosmetic (Allergan/

Once thought of as a red-carpet only luxury to smooth wrinkles, BOTOX® Cosmetic has evolved, becoming a lunchtime procedure for millions of Americans. You’ve seen it in the media, and perhaps you’ve heard talk amongst friends or co-workers; now you’re wondering, is it my turn to treat myself to BOTOX® Cosmetic? We pose this question to you: Are you ready to significantly improve your expression lines? Friends will take notice of your youthful radiance, but they won’t know your secret! They may wonder if you styled your hair differently, or maybe you’ve been working out? The secret will be yours to tell!

FDA approved to treat the “11’s,” or frown lines between the brows, BOTOX® Cosmetic is also commonly used off-label to smooth expression lines of the forehead and around the eyes. What other areas can be treated with BOTOX® Cosmetic? By knowing precisely which muscles to target, the skilled injectors of Skin Speaks: Advancements in Dermatology and Spa M.D. can promote lifting of the corners of the mouth or eye brows, soften “bunny lines” on the nose, lessen the appearance of a squared jaw, plus treat multiple areas of the lower face and even the neck.

Why BOTOX® Cosmetic? BOTOX® Cosmetic pioneered the research of Botulinum Toxin in aesthetic medicine, launching in 2002 when it became the first treatment of its kind to receive approval from the FDA; it’s been 10 years, and counting! Did you know that the same formulation of BOTOX® Cosmetic was approved by the FDA in 1989 as BOTOX® for medical use? In other words, BOTOX® has been used for over 20 years! It’s been extensively researched with approximately 2,400 studies (Allergan/, which is HUGE! BOTOX® Cosmetic is the #1 prescribed product of its kind in the world; over 70 countries have approved BOTOX® Cosmetic for aesthetic use. Since 2002, over 11 million treatments have been performed! Study results have shown a 97% rate of satisfaction, an impressive and dependable number!

What is it? BOTOX® Cosmetic is a purified protein called a biologic.  Biologics are unique and complex, which is why there is no such thing as a generic form of BOTOX® Cosmetic.

How does it work? Stubborn expression lines form after years of repeated muscle activity; these lines can remain even when your muscles are at rest.  BOTOX® Cosmetic reduces the muscle activity responsible for the formation of expression lines by calming the nerve impulses to targeted muscles. This quiets the muscles ability to contract and leads to fabulous softening and smoothing of expression lines. In 10 days or less, real improvement occurs with results that have been proven to last up to 4 months!

Is there any recovery time after the procedure? NO! BOTOX® Cosmetic is a 10 minute procedure with no surgery and no down time. After treatment, exercise should be avoided for six hours.

Ready to take the next step? To set up your treatment or complimentary consultation, please call (763)231-8700 to schedule an appointment with one of our injectors here at Skin Speaks: Advancements in Dermatology and Spa M.D. We look forward to treating you!

Source: © 2012 Allergan, Inc. Irvine, CA 92612. ® mark owned by Allergan, Inc.
JUVÉDERM® mark owned by Allergan Industries SAS.

Dry skin – What you can do to prevent it

As we approach the winter months, the air becomes dry allowing more moisture to escape from our skin compared to the humid summer months. This can result in dry skin and flares of eczema/dermatitis. As with most ailments, the best treatment is prevention, so keeping well moisturized with barrier creams BEFORE your skin becomes dry will help to delay or prevent some of these common cool weather conditions.

Quick tips to maintain hydrated skin this fall and winter:
1. Drink plenty of water. Rather than focusing on trying to drink a specific quantity of water per day (which varies with age, lifestyle, and health status), it is a more practical goal to simply to choose water as your “go-to” beverage when you are thirsty rather than dehydrating beverages like coffee and soda.

2. Take short/warm rather than long/hot showers. Prolonged hot showers can more readily strip our natural protective skin barriers. Get clean and get out.

3. Lock in the moisture. After patting dry from a shower, immediately apply your favorite moisturizer to lock in the moisture, then use as needed throughout the day. Our favorite brands are Aveeno, CereVe, Cetaphil, and Eucerin.

4. Humidification. Since the furnace is the primary culprit of dry air in our homes, be sure to turn on your built-in or portable humidifier before turning on the furnace for the season.

5. Avoiding excessive hand washing. It is important especially during the cold and flu season to prevent the spread of germs, but hand washing in excess can strip the natural protective barriers resulting in dry/chapped hands. Continue using soap and water for regular hand washing, but consider intermittent use of moisturizing hand sanitizers.

Flares of eczema and dermatitis often require prescription management when over-the-counter creams fail. Also, skin that develops dry patches that itch, sting, or bleed may be signs of a more serious skin condition.  Over the next couple weeks Skin Speaks will be posting tips to identify some of these more severe skin conditions including psoriasis, skin cancer, and fungus.